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< Exosite Blog

IoT Ecosystem 101: Deciding Where to Build, Buy, or Partner for Success

by Exosite, on October 24, 2017

Once you understand the system architecture components to consider when creating your connected product strategy, it’s time to figure out how you actually put that ecosystem together. Determining where to build, buy, or partner is key to ensure you bring a full IoT experience to your users. You can do it all on your own, but it often makes business sense not to.


Building your own IoT platform is a great way to have complete control over your IoT solution, from data collection to the end-user experience. This decision is often favorable if you already have the in-house expertise or have the means to hire the skillset necessary. It can also make sense if you aren’t able to find existing IoT products and services that meet your business needs. If you build, you can customize a solution to perfectly fit your application without having to compromise any functionality. It does require in-depth knowledge in a broad range of fields, and there are risks with knowing enough to get started or be dangerous, but not enough to succeed.


There are a host of options when it comes to buying products and services to enable your IoT solution, including infrastructure providers, boxed solution providers, IoT platform providers, edge-device ecosystem providers, and connectivity providers. Buying is a good fit if you lack in-house expertise that spans the entire IoT ecosystem or if you need help reducing time to market and risk. You can focus on the areas of IoT solution development with which you are already familiar, while leveraging the expertise and knowledge of IoT product-enablement companies for the areas in which your experience is less mature. The things that you have to watch out for is that you may be constrained by purchased products or integration complexities


Partnering can be a great way to extend your product’s capabilities. Instead of merely purchasing a service, perhaps a revenue share or value trade is appropriate. Look for partnerships where the end result adds value to your product, your partner gets value from the partnership, and your customers also gain additional value in their experience. Avoid overusing resources on uncommitted partnerships that don’t return value.

We also have a white paper that dives deeper into these options, so get your free copy of Solving the IoT Puzzle: Build or Buy to learn more.

If you'd like to learn more about how to ensure you’re ready to plan, launch, and support your connected product offerings, download our full IoT guide below or reach out to learn from our IoT experts.

Topics:TechnologyTipsPartnershipsIoT Strategy

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